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ERIC Number: EJ1071646
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Comparing Special Education Students' Experiences of Accountability Reform across Two Decades
Pazey, Barbara L.; Heilig, Julian Vasquez; Cole, Heather A.; Sumbera, Meagan
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v47 n3 p365-392 Sep 2015
Over the last two decades, our nation has seen an array of reform initiatives that support lofty goals for student achievement. An underexplored issue in the literature is how this school reform set against the backdrop of high-stakes testing has impacted the students it is designed to assist. Now armed with years of student data, critics of accountability reform have argued that high stakes testing has done little to improve the educational outcomes of persistently low achieving students--urban poor, minority and students with disabilities. The statistics show a bleak picture. But, the numbers only tell half the story. This qualitative case study uses narrative analysis to detail the stories of 12 special education students in an urban Texas high school who experienced first hand the effects and fallout of accountability reform. The authors had the unique opportunity to interview two sets of students, one in 1995 when high stakes testing was first introduced and one in 2012 after two decades of implementation. Chronicling the voices of special education students at the same school over a 15 year period reveals that schooling experiences of these students have neither fundamentally changed nor improved despite numerous reform efforts. The paper provides a critical context for accountability reform juxtaposed with the students' personal experiences of testing and accountability reform. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the importance of including student voice, particularly marginalized student voice, in ongoing reform efforts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A